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VSDs use same instructions as servodrives

13 May, 2015

Rockwell Automation has announced the first AC drive designed specifically to work with its Logix-based programmable automation controllers (PACs). The Allen-Bradley PowerFlex 527 drive can be used in machines incorporating CompactLogix, ControlLogix or GuardLogix PACs, and Kinetix servodrives.

The new drive uses the same embedded instructions as the Kinetix servodrives, allowing similar configuration, programming and control of both types of drives, thus saving engineering time. A single software package – Rockwell Software’s Studio 5000 Logix Designer – can be used, helping to simplify machine development and operation.

“Until now, most machine-builders have never considered programming their variable-frequency drives like they program their servodrives – but they immediately understand the value,” says Jimmy Koh, manager of Rockwell’s component drives business. “We developed this drive to help remove some of the design complexity, provide the best-fit performance level, and deliver the next evolution of our Premier Integration.”

Premier Integration allows users to integrate their drives into Rockwell’s Integrated Architecture system, cutting the time and tools needed to program and configure a system. The new drive introduces an added level of integration by using the motion instruction sets in Studio 5000 for machine control and motor synchronisation.

Once programmed, drive configuration files can be transferred easily to a new machine without line-by-line copying. In addition, Logix PACs can detect a replaced drive automatically and download all of the configuration settings over EtherNet/IP, helping to cut downtime.

The PowerFlex 527 drive has two EtherNet/IP ports and supports networked safety, helping to cut the hardware, wiring and labour costs associated with implementing SIL 3/PLe safety systems.

Rockwell says its new PowerFlex 527 drive will simplify machine programming

The use of networked safety also reduces panel space and provides access to diagnostic data on machine safety faults and causes, without needing contactors or relays. The drive also offers an embedded, safe torque-off option for hardwired safety.

Rockwell says that the new drive also offers a low-cost way of providing simple speed control for induction motor applications such as pumps, fans, and conveyors. Servodrives can handles the more precise motor control operations involving speed, torque and position control.

The PowerFlex 527 drive is available in five frame sizes, with ratings from 0.4–22kW and in voltage ratings from 100–600V for use around the world.

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